1860's Rev Obil Windsor Briggs CDV Photo, San Francisco CA (Winsor)
On reverse: "Rev. Mr. Briggs" is handwritten in old period pencil. Photo type: CDV Carte de Visite Photograph, Victorian. Photographer: Lawrence & Houseworth, San Francisco, San Francisco County CA. (known to be portrait and stereoview photographers Thomas Houseworth 1828-1915 and George S. Lawrence 1826-1873 both born in New York, but came west for the 1849 Gold Rush and settled in the San Fran area)
Found in Public Genealogy Records:
Obil Windsor Briggs or Obil Windsor Briggs 1820-1902
(also seen as Obel, Obile)
Obil's father was Rev. Avery Briggs 1795–1883 born in Stoughton, Norfolk County, Massachusetts and died in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. He was the son of Reverend Joel Briggs 1757–1828 And Hannah Sprague Briggs 1758–1844. Obil's mother was Mary Windsor (or Winsor) 1790-1867 and they married in 1818 in Providence County, Rhode Island.
Their children, known to us are:
Obil Windsor Briggs
Abel Winsor Briggs born 1824
Rhoda B. Porter Briggs 1832-1913
Mary Windsor Briggs 1822-1854 married Jesse Wood Denison 1818-1881
Ann Martin Briggs 1827–1916
Mary Tolman Briggs born 1829
Hannah Louisa Briggs born 1830
Obil married first Miss Julia Scribner 1817-1850 of Baltimore, daughter of Samuel Scribner born 1790 and Julia Ambler Scribner, born 1795. Julia died in 1850 at the age of 33. In 1858, he remarried Mary S. Augusta Champney Briggs, born 1833. Bio states they had six children in 14 years, all daughter we believe: Edith Briggs Moses born 1859, Nellie Briggs born 1861, Eleanor Briggs born 1864, Rachel Briggs 1869, Julia Scribner Briggs Rathbone 1870–1920 and Octavia Briggs 1873.
Obil in the San Francisco Directory 1865, the era when this CDV photo was taken:
Rev. O.W. Briggs in the U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995
Name: Rev. O.W. Briggs (Obil W. Briggs)
Residence Year: 1865
Occupation: Dwl (dwelling) at corner of Mission and Eleventh
Residence Place: San Francisco, California, USA
Publication Title: San Francisco Directory, 1865
Brown Alumni Monthly by Brown University, Publication date 1903 in Providence by Brown University, Volume Vol. 3 no. 10. Class of 1840: "Rev. Obil Windsor Briggs, the oldest member of the Brown Club of California, died in San Francisco, Cal., November 11, 1902. He was born at Waterville, Maine, May 28, 1820. He came of good New England stock. His great grandfather was Deacon George Briggs of Norton, Mass. His grandfather, Rev. Joel Briggs, served in the Colonial Army, and was an honorary graduate of Brown; he received the degree of master of arts as an honorary degree at commencement, 1795. His father, Rev. Avery Briggs, was graduated at Brown in the class of 1816, and was a professor in Waterville College, now Colby College, from 1822 to 1828. (Note: the place and time where Obil was born) After graduating at Brown in 1840, Obil W. Briggs studied law for a time; deciding, however, to enter the ministry, he entered Newton Theological Seminary, from which he was graduated in 1844. His first pastorate was at the Eutaw Place Baptist Church Temple, Baltimore, where he succeeded the Rev. Dr. Fuller. His second settlement was at Alexandria, Va. Later he was called to the First Baptist Church, Brooklyn, N.Y. On the breaking out of the Civil War he accepted the chaplaincy of the 9th Illinois Cavalry, and served until compelled by disability to resign. He went to California in 1863, where for two years he acted as agent for the Freedman's Bureau (Note: A reconstruction era act, formally known as the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands inacted by the US Congress in 1865 to help former black slaves and poor whites in the South after the Civil War) Owing to impaired health he never accepted a settled pastorate. During the last twelve years of his life he held a position in the Federal Court at San Francisco, where he was loved and respected by all with whom he came in contact. He died after a short illness, at the age of eighty two years, five months, and eleven days, leaving a widow and three daughters."
Historical catalogue of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, 1764-1894: Published in 1895 edition: "Obil Winsor Briggs United States Army Chaplain in the 9th Illinois Cavalry from the Historical catalogue of Brown University, published by Brown in 1895. His bio: Graduate Newton Theological Institution, 1844; Ordained baptist 1844, Pastor in Baltimore, Maryland; Alexandria, Virginia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Brooklyn, New York; US Military service Civil War Union Chaplain in the 9th Illinois cavalry, Address in 1895: 1600 Taylor Street, San Francisco, California."
FACT: "On July 20, 1838, the Beta Chapter of the Delta Phi Fraternity established a new branch at Brown University. The Union Chapter granted a charter to nine men on July 28, 1838 permitting them to found the Alpha of Rhode Island, Beta of Delta Phi. The nine founders were William Brantley Jr., Obil Briggs, Charles Burnett, John Dodge, Benjamin Franklin, William Gaston (later the Governor of MA), Frank Griffin, Jonas Sleeper & Edwin Larned. Delta Phi at Brown was first located in North Slater & later in Wilbour Hall, which is near the Eqyptology building next to the Rockefeller Library." This info can be found online at Brown University here.
Notes: From 1841-1844 in Middlesex Co MA, he attended the Newton Theological Institute. In 1894 Brown University published a list all living graduates, and OW Briggs is listed as living in Berkeley, California. We also found him listed as having lived in Schoharie County, New York at one time.
General catalogue of the Newton Theological Institution, 1826-1943 with biographical sketches of professors and students in Andover Theological Seminary, 1931-1943 by Andover Newton Theological School; Pierce, Richard D. (Richard Donald), 1915-1973, ed. Publication date 1943:
OBIL WINSOR BRIGGS. 3. Grad. born Waterville, Maine, Aug. 1820. Brown University 1840; ordained in Baltimore, Maryland MD, Dec. 22, 1844; Pastor in Baltimore; Alexandria, VA.; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania PA.; Brooklyn, New York NY; chaplain. U.S. Army in Civil War; w.c. San Francisco, California CA.; Berkeley, died San Francisco, Nov. 11, 1902.
DAR BOOK: A.A.D.A.R. LINEAGE BOOK National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Susan Riviere Hetzel, Organized at Washington City, October 11, 1890. LINEAGE BOOK. 249:
1. Mrs. Edith Briggs Moses DAR #14664: Born in New York. Wife of Bernard Moses. Descendant of Rev. Joel Briggs, of Massachusetts. Daughter of Rev. Obil Winsor Briggs and Mary Augusta Briggs, his wife. Granddaughter of Rev. Avery Briggs and Mary Winsor Briggs, his wife. Gr. granddaughter of Joel Briggs and Hannah Sprague, his wife. Joel Briggs, (1757-1825), turned out from Norton at the Lexington Alarm. He was a drummer in Capt. Israel Trow's company, Col. Josiah Whitney's regiment, 1777, and was corporal, 1778, under Col. John Daggett. He served in the Rhode Island campaign under Capt. Isaac Hodge. He was born at Norton, and died at Avon.
2. Mrs. Julia Briggs Rathbone. DAR # 1466J: Born in California. Wife of Henry Bowen Rathbone. Descendant of Rev. Joel Briggs. Daughter of Rev. Obil Winsor Briggs and Mary Augusta Briggs, his wife. See DAR No. 14664.
In the 1900 Census, at age 80, Obil is listed as a US Federal Court Cryer:
Obil W Briggs in the 1900 United States Federal Census
Birth Date: May 1820
Home in 1900: San Francisco, San Francisco County, California
Street: 1600 Taylor Street
Spouse's name: Mary A Briggs
Marriage Year: 1858
Father's Birthplace: Massachusetts
Mother's Birthplace: Massachusetts
Occupation: US Federal Court Cryer
Obil W Briggs 80 (Head)
Mary A Briggs 67 (wife) (Mary Augusta Briggs)
Elenor Briggs 35 (Ddaughter)
Henry B Rathbone 34 (Son in law)
Julia S Rathbone 30 (Daughter)
Agusta P Rathbone 2 (Granddaughter)
Auria Moses 7 (Granddaughter)
Marie Davezies 36 (Servant)
Ah Kin 37 (Servant)
Obil Winsor Briggs in the California, County Birth, Marriage, and Death Records, 1849-1980
Name: Obil Winsor Briggs
Death Age: 82
Event Type: Death
Birth Date: abt 1820
Birth Place: Waterville, Maine
Death Date: 11 Nov 1902
Death Place: 1600 Taylor St SF
Interestingly, his middle name "Winsor" or "Windsor" (which is his mother Mary's surname) seems to gravitate from the Winsor to Windsor spelling over time in records, although it is clearly written as "Mary Winsor Briggs" in his 1840 Brown University records, and in the DAR lineage books.
This is a beautiful Briggs family CDV, taken by a skilled photographer in the early 1860's in Civil War times. We can find reference to Reverend Briggs and the "Rev Dr. Briggs" in San Francisco history searches. This is an important DAR, Daughters of the American Revolution and SAR Sons of the American Revolutionary War family.
His forename is also seen spelled as Obil, Obile and Obel in online searches. In this photo, he is a stunning and commanding looking Victorian era gentleman. He wears a clergy or clerical collar, and long black overcoat. It was found in Madison County, New York State and is beautifully signed or autographed by him in the period. He was extremely active politically and religiously in San Francisco. Searching for Reverend Briggs, Rev. Briggs, Rev Dr. Briggs (DD Doctor of Divinity), Rev. or Reverend O.W. Briggs. Rev Olbil Briggs or Rev Mr. Briggs in 19th century San Francisco finds him there involved in many events, marriages, speeches and sermons as a beloved member of the community. This is a rare and beautiful piece with an amazing amount of early DAR Briggs genealogy. A very handsome and dapper man.
Size: 2.5 x 4 inches
Note: Hello from ~debra. I have spent years collecting over 10,000 ID’d lost family photos & paper from US flea markets & antique shops. I do the best gen research I can, but am always open to corrections. This is an original antique item, not a reprint. A new high quality rigid sleeve is included for extra protection, especially during shipping. You may buy a piece alone, or large intimate 300 dpi scans of the front and back sent immediately via email, or both. Please search carefully, as they are often found together and many may be related. I also invite you to join me at Ancestorville Genealogy on facebook. Thank you, enjoy! ~Debra Clifford (contact info on top bar)
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